By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
Last year, Model Laboratory’s Gus Benson came up one win short of a regional championship.
This year, the junior wasn’t going to be denied.
Benson dropped just 10 games in four matches and wrapped up an impressive championship run with two wins Thursday in Lexington. He defeated Alex Dubilier of Henry Clay, 6-1, 6-2, in the semifinals and then defeated Ryo Takeda of Henry Clay, 6-0, 6-4, in the finals.
Led by Benson, the Patriots finished as the 11th Region runner-up with 11 points. Henry Clay took the title with 13 points, while Lexington Christian Academy was third with seven points.
Benson now moves on to compete in the state tournament, which begins next Thursday in Lexington.
Model’s top singles player received a first-round bye, then defeated Wade Bailey of Dunbar, 6-0, 6-0, on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Benson topped Lexington Catholic’s Matthew Ko, 6-2, 6-1.
The Patriots entered the tournament with hopes of taking the title back from Henry Clay, last year’s champion. And after the opening day of the tournament, they appeared to be in good position to do just that.
Both of Model’s singles players — Benson and Cole Wilson — along with both of the school’s doubles teams — Blake Benson and Nolan Kelly and Jack Frisbie and James Logue — moved into the quarterfinals.
The Patriots ran into trouble Wednesday in Lexington. Both doubles teams were eliminated and Wilson suffered a straight-sets loss.